Paddling the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park
by James Churchill (Falcon Guides)
© James Churchill/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This is an excellent trip if you enjoy paddling large lakes. Camping on the first island on Gunflint Lake Day 1 we saw the norther lights come out here before 10 pm. Day 2 was a 15 mile or so trek on to Rose Lake, the scenery at Rose lake and on the way is some of the best I've seen in all of the BWCA. A cliff on the west side of Rose Lake can be seen for miles while crossing South Lake and that's just the beginning. Once you begin entering the main channel of Rose you begin feeling as if you are in a large natural amphitheater. The third day, the first day we saw other people, it was time for the stairway portage over to duncan. Which really wasn't too bad, but about 2/3 of the way up we came accross portage falls. About 25 feet high and running over granite which has been polished for hundreds of thousands of years I'm sure. About the most amazing waterfall I've come accross and this is about number 250. Once you come to the top it's a good idea to get your towel here and double back to the falls for a bath in some cold water. Right here all of the soreness will wash away as the pure cold water replenishes your strength and makes you feel human once again. We spent the rest of our time on Duncan lake with several trips back to Rose lake. The stairway portage also crosses the border route backpacking trail. This trail leads up to very high cliffs overlooking Rose Lake. With a view from above, this is the best BWCA sunset I have been witness to. That is saying a lot, because the sunsets up here are like no where else in the world. The last portage on the trail map here says to go over to hungry jack to take out. We went to Bearskin where there is a portage over to hungry jack, between these two portage there is a road from bearskin lodge where you can get picked up. This is much easier and allows you to stay very close to rose lake up until the last day. An amazing trip and you are right on the border the whole time.
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